Syracuse Crunch "Knockout Poker Tournament" Returns
The heavy-hitting action of Syracuse Crunch hockey collides with serious card play at the Turning Stone Resort Casino poker room this month in the form of the Syracuse Crunch Knockout Poker Tournament.
This event, scheduled for Tuesday, January 24, pits Turning Stone guests against Crunch players in a No-Limit Hold ‘Em tournament. Every time a guest knocks out a Crunch player, the guest receives the player’s jersey, along with an autograph.
Director of Poker Operations Frank Foti said the tournament is popular among poker players and hockey fans alike. The tournament is back this year after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Guests love having the chance to sit down and play cards with a lot of their favorite Crunch players,” Frank said. “Most of the people who participate, watch the games, so to be able to sit down at the table and talk to Crunch players about poker and hockey or whatever they want to talk about is pretty exciting.”
The tournament begins at 7 p.m., and registration starts at 6 p.m.. Buy-in is $125 per player.
Guests can win Crunch jerseys without participating in the tournament, too. According to Frank, poker room managers will give away two autographed Crunch jerseys during cash-game play later in the evening in the form of a random seat draw.
“If you hang out and play a little cash game after the tournament is done, you have a shot at getting a jersey too,” Frank said.
The annual poker tournament exemplifies the close partnership between the Syracuse Crunch and the Oneida Indian Nation. The Crunch play in the American Hockey League, and Turning Stone hosted the AHL all-star game in 2015 and 2018. Crunch players also appear regularly at the resort, both for events and on their own time.
Frank also has quite a connection to hockey; he played semi-professional hockey for almost four decades, and he is an avid Philadelphia Flyers fan. His office is decorated with pictures and memorabilia spanning this career.
“Hockey is a great game,” he said. “It’s fun to be able to support the sport here in the poker room.”